Two new solar arrays built by KCEC have come online, helping the group come closer to meeting its goal of 100 percent solar energy during the day by 2022
Two new solar arrays built by Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC) have come online, bringing three additional megawatts of solar power to KCEC’s customer base, which includes more than 20,000 homes and 3,600 businesses. A 1.5 MW solar array located on the Northern New Mexico College’s El Rito campus became operational on December 20, 2019, and the 1.5 MW array located in Questa became operational on January 2, 2019.
These two arrays help KCEC come even closer to meeting its goal of powering the communities it serves with 100 percent solar energy during the day by 2022. KCEC set this goal when it began its partnership with Guzman Energy, a wholesale power provider who develops customised energy solutions to meet the priorities and goals of its customers. This partnership will not only enable KCEC to meet its daytime solar goal but will ultimately decrease its wholesale power costs by approximately 40 percent.
Construction of the El Rito array began in September 2019. Its 6,000 panels bring 1.5 MW of solar power to not only Northern New Mexico College’s El Rito campus, but also 850 homes and businesses. This array has revitalised the Northern campus and created new opportunity for the local community, as five public school districts have come together to support a mill levy on the ballot this fall that will reintroduce career technical education at Northern to include plumbing, pipefitting and electrician training, as well as apprenticeship opportunities for local high school students.
The solar array located in Questa, which began operation today, also provides 1.5 MW of solar power to local customers. Construction of the Questa array began in July 2019.
“We are proud of our quick progress in bringing cleaner, more affordable power that provides significant benefit to our community,” said Luis Reyes Jr., CEO of KCEC. “These two solar arrays, along with another currently under construction with Guzman Energy in Taos, have supported local jobs and investment and are having tangible economic benefits to our community.”
With these two new arrays becoming operational, KCEC now has 16 live solar arrays, bringing a total of 16.8 MW of solar power to local homes and businesses. Four more arrays are in development, and once complete, KCEC will have a total of 53 MW of renewable energy, including 38 MW of solar and 15 MW of storage capacity.